Microsoft President Brad Smith highlights 5 public policy pillars important for Next Generation Washington state

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Microsoft president Brad Smith has put together a list of things that he thinks needs to be improved in Washington State legislature as we enter 2017. Here, Smith doesn’t speak much at all about Microsoft’s plans for the future of technology. This article comes from a place of genuine care and activism. If you’re interested in knowing Smith’s priorities in politics, it’s definitely worth a read.

Here’s an overview of what Smith had to say.

  • A Balanced Agenda to Create Opportunity

Brad Smith understands that there’s a serious problem with equality in Washington, and the country as a whole. While technological advancements continue to be made on every level, those advancements continue to only be available to a select few people. Smith says that “We need a legislative agenda that will enhance economic growth, create new opportunities for more individuals to participate in that growth, and protect and improve the quality of life enjoyed by Washington residents.”

  • Education and Workforce Training

Smith thinks that we’ve made a considerable amount of progress in our education system, citing the rising graduation rate since 2010. That being said, there’s still a lot further that we can go to elevate education to where it ought to be. Smith talks not only about improving the K-12 school system, but also creating more education opportunities to improve the quality of so-called “middle skill” employment.

  • Improvements to the Criminal Justice System

Many would say that the criminal justice system has been something of a disaster recently, and Brad Smith thinks that Microsoft has a place in improving things. Smith says that Microsoft’s ability to collect and analyze data could be a valuable contributor to improvements to the criminal justice system, and make Washington State a better place.

  • Equal Pay in the Workplace

Despite significant support from Washington voters and a multitude of proposals from state legislators, the business world continues to show extreme hesitation in offering basic equality when it comes to payment in the workplace. Smith wants to work with lawmakers and businesses to work towards paid family leave and equal pay to improve the lives of employees in Washington State and beyond.

  • A Cascadia Innovation Corridor

Smith wants to focus on improving the innovation corridor between Vancouver and Seattle in 2017. More than anything else, Smith thinks that it’s important to help create more convenient transportation between the two cities.

  • A Cloud for Global Good

Smith made a point to let us know that Microsoft is “committed to building a cloud that is trusted, responsible, and inclusive, promising economic and social benefits for both urban and rural communities.” As cloud technology continues to be one of the biggest factors in the advancement of tech as we move into 2017, Smith and Microsoft are focused on developing a cloud for global good that can benefit everybody.

Go ahead and check out Smith’s full writing if you’re interested in hearing what he has to say. Smith wrote at length about how he thinks Washington State can be improved, and many of his ideas extend quite well to the United States as a whole.